FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Date:  April 9, 2003

                                                                                                            Contact: Cheryl Peck


UIS plans to hold 32nd commencement outdoors on May 10


            SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield will hold its 32nd commencement outdoors for the first time at Kiwanis Stadium on May 10.  About 1,060 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m.

            Internationally known Lincoln expert Harold Holzer will deliver the commencement address.  One of the country’s leading authorities on the political culture of the Civil War era, Holzer is vice president for communications and marketing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

            “We are very pleased that Harold Holzer has agreed to be our commencement speaker,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.  “We invited him because of his Lincoln connection and our own development this year of new initiatives in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies.”  Ringeisen noted that the existence of the Center “certainly increases our ability to attract high-profile Lincoln experts such as Mr. Holzer to this campus.”

            Holzer is co-chairman of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by President Clinton in September 2000.  He has authored, co-authored, and edited 21 books and written more than 300 articles for both popular magazines and  scholarly journals.

            A frequent guest on television, Holzer has appeared on Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom (PBS, 1992), Civil War Journals (A&E, 1994),  American Heritage Presents the Lincoln Assassination (History Channel, 1995), A&E’s Biography (1996), and the History Channel special, Assassins: John Wilkes Booth.


Holzer’s appearance on C-SPAN’s Booknotes series inspired the re-creation of all seven Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois in 1994, for which Holzer served as historical consultant and on-air commentator.  Recently, he appeared on the three-hour C-SPAN American Writers special on Abraham Lincoln.

            Educated at the City University of New York, Holzer worked as a weekly newspaper editor, a political campaign press secretary, a government speechwriter, and as public affairs director for the PBS flagship station WNET before joining The Metropolitan Museum of Art as chief communications officer in 1992.  He was named vice president in 1996.  From 1984 through 1992, he served as special counselor to the director of economic development in the administration of Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.

            In the event of inclement weather on May 10, two commencement ceremonies would be held in Sangamon Auditorium.  Ceremonies for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Services would be held at 9:30 a.m.  Ceremonies for the Colleges of Business and Management and Public Affairs and Administration would be held at 1 p.m.